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Article

Dominic Symonds

(b St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, Sept 20, 1886; d New York, NY, Jan 30, 1954). American impresario, producer, and director of Canadian birth. Rivalled only by Florenz Ziegfeld for his lavish revues, Murray Anderson produced The Ziegfeld Follies in 1934, 1936, and 1943, Life Begins at 8:40 (1934), and eponymous Almanac revues in 1929 and 1953. His Greenwich Village Follies (1919–24) were billed as offering “intellectual beauty,” though they showcased nudity on a reduced budget from non-Equity performers (complemented by a handful of class acts). Still, their popularity and quality (of Murray Anderson’s sketches, if not the music) propelled them on to Broadway by 1921. He also produced or directed other key shows, including Dearest Enemy (1925) and Billy Rose’s Jumbo (1935). In Hollywood he was involved with King of Jazz (1930), Bathing Beauty (1944), The Great Ziegfeld...

Article

Harry B. Soria

(b Honolulu, HI, June 6, 1894; d Honolulu, HI, May 30, 1995). American composer, musician, and record producer. Anderson’s parents were socially prominent in Honolulu, and he was educated in Honolulu and at Cornell University. Soon after graduation, he joined the Air Force and was sent into air combat in France during World War I. Shot down and captured, he led a daring escape across German lines into Holland by speaking the limited French and German he had learned in high school. Eventually, his exploits were turned into The Dawn Patrol (1930), a film starring Richard Barthelmess. Anderson married Peggy Center, a high school classmate, and began a successful Hawaii-based career in business and service to the community. Although he had no formal musical training, and played the piano by ear, his talent for clever lyrics and songwriting flourished as well.

Anderson wrote more than 200 songs during his lifetime, which spanned most of the 20th century. Anderson lived to see not only the birth of hapa haole music, but witnessed every step in its evolution through ragtime, big band swing, and Hawaiian style hula, earning him the title of “The Godfather of Hapa Haole Music.” Anderson’s hapa haole compositions (songs with predominantly English lyrics with some references to Hawaii and the Hawaiian language) may be among the most distinctively Hawaiian music ever recorded. His songs collectively share the Hawaii of his birth, with its unique people, places, and elements. Among his most famous compositions, which have been recorded countless times, are “Haole Hula,” “Lovely Hula Hands,” “White Ginger Blossoms,” “On a Coconut Island,” “Malihini Mele,” “The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakai,” “I’ll weave a lei of stars for you,” and the premiere Hawaiian Christmas song, “Mele Kalikimaka.”...

Article

Roxanne R. Reed

(b Anguilla, MS, March 21, 1919; d Hazel Crest, IL, 15 June, 1995). American gospel director, singer, composer, and publisher. Anderson established a career forming and training gospel groups in Chicago. His formative years were spent as one of the original Roberta Martin Singers, one of the premiere gospel groups of the 1930s and 1940s. He left briefly, between 1939 and 1941, to form the first of his many ensembles, the Knowles and Anderson Singers with R.L. Knowles. He rejoined Martin, but ultimately resigned because of the travel demands. In 1947 he formed Robert Anderson and his Gospel Caravan, but after several members left in 1952, he formed a new set of singers that recorded and performed under the name the Robert Anderson Singers through the mid-1950s. Throughout his career, Anderson recorded on a multitude of labels including Miracle and United with Robert Anderson and the Caravans; and later with the Robert Anderson Singers, on Apollo. Anderson wrote, and often sang lead on, many of the songs his groups performed, including “Why Should I Worry” (...

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b Zanesville, OH, May 12, 1915; d Washington, DC, Nov 24, 2003). American educator, pianist, composer, and arts administrator. The grandson of former slaves, Anderson was a musical prodigy, playing piano and organ professionally while in elementary school. He attended Oberlin College where he studied composition with Herbert Elwell, followed by studies at the Berkshire Music Center with paul Hindemith and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Anderson received the equivalent of a doctoral degree in 1952 as a fellow of the American Guild of Organists (AAGO and FAGO), and in the 1970s he was awarded four honorary doctorates.

Early in his professional career he taught at the Kentucky State College for Negroes (1939–42), became chairman of the Wilberforce University music department, and directed music programs at Karamu House, a neighborhood arts center for underprivileged residents of the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. He also began a 30-year career as a concert pianist, performing throughout the United States and Europe. Anderson’s appointment as chair of the music department at Antioch College in ...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(bc1755; dc1829). Italian impresario and librettist. His family was from Vicenza. Though trained as a lawyer, he chose instead to become an actor like his parents, and joined first Pietro Rossi’s company in Venice and then, around 1777, the Compagnia Nazionale Toscana in Florence, directed by Giovanni Roffi. His first tragedy, Le glorie della religione di Malta, had success in many Italian theatres. He succeeded Roffi as impresario of the Teatro del Cocomero in 1785 and served until 1795, visiting Milan for a season in 1792.

Andolfati’s greatest importance lies in his cultivation of Florentine poets and composers for the Cocomero’s musical repertory. His contract there required him to translate French farces into Italian; in addition to the librettos listed below that are almost certainly his work, he probably wrote the otherwise anonymous librettos for most of the farse and some of the intermezzos given at the theatre during his tenure....

Article

Kevin E. Mooney

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 27, 1949; d Austin, TX, May 23, 2006). American nightclub owner, promoter, and producer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (summer 1969), then opened an imported food and clothing store. Its backroom became a place for informal jam sessions, often with Antone playing bass. On 15 July 1975 he opened Antone’s. Although not the first or only club in Austin to book blues musicians, it became significant for both its relevance to the Austin music scene and the opportunities allowed for young musicians to share the stage with blues legends. In 1987 he launched recording label Antone’s Record and Tapes and opened Antone’s Records Shop. After serving two drug-related prison terms (1985–6; 1999–2002), Antone began an annual fundraiser for troubled youth. During the last two years of his life, he taught a course on the blues at both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos. A recipient of the National Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ...

Article

Mikaela Minga

[Antoniu, Christache]

(b Bucharest, Romania, Dec 25, 1907; d Tirana, Albania, March 17, 1979). Tenor, actor, and stage director. He studied at the Mimodramatic High School of Bucharest and then in Rome, with M. Polverosi. In Romania, he had a successful career as an actor and singer. He was in the movie industry in the 1920s and early 30s, playing in more than 15 films, including Ciocoii (1931), Iancu Jianu, (1928), and Maiorul Mura (1927). In the meantime, he worked in the Alhambra theater as a singer and stage director of operettas. In the mid 1930s, Antoniu moved to Albania and pursued a singing career. He made only one cinematic appearance in 1943, for the short film documentary Takimi në liqen (‘Meeting at the Lake’). He was a dramatic tenor, with a baritone quality in his voice. This led him to explore a large range of operatic characters from both the Western opera repertory and the Albanian one. He performed and recorded Albanian traditional or folk songs, handled with an operatic vocal posture and arranged with western harmonies. His son, Gjergj Antoniu was a prominent Albanian cellist....

Article

Paul Niemistö

(b Athens, Greece, June 18, 1866; d Helsinki, Finland, June 20, 1927). Musical instrument dealer, brass instrument maker, and band director in Helsinki. He was in contact with Finnish troops as a boy in Gallipoli, Turkey, during the Crimean war and was brought back to Helsinki as an orphan. Trained in the Finnish military music school, he became the chief conductor of the Helsinki Guards Band (1890–1901) until the dissolution of the Finnish Army by Tsar Nicholas II. He then formed and led the Helsinki Brass Band in 1901. In the same year he formed the Apostol Music Publishing and Apostol Musical Instrument Company, which issued a catalogue in 1910. Bringing Wenzel Mirsch (b 4 Dec 1877; d 2 Aug 1946) in 1908 from Graslitz, Bohemia, as his foreman, Apostol made instruments for the burgeoning Finnish brass band movement until 1925. Mirsch continued the manufacture and restoration of instruments at the factory under his own name until his death. The many surviving Apostol brasses include cornets in E♭ and B♭, E♭ alto horns, B♭ tenor horns, euphoniums in B♭, and tubas in E♭ and BB♭, many of which are still being played in Finland....

Article

Kenneth Winters

(b Toronto, April 3, 1918, d Toronto, April 20, 2000). Canadian composer and arts administrator. He studied the piano with Boris Berlin, and theory and composition with Healey Willan, Ernest MacMillan and Leo Smith, before continuing composition studies with Roy Harris and Bernard Wagenaar in New York (1940–41). For the next eight years, Applebaum worked for the National Film Board of Canada, producing some 250 film scores. During this period he became increasingly concerned with improving the position of professional musicians in Canada. His combined interests in creative and socio-economic development led to a career that influenced every aspect of Canadian music. During the 1960s he served as consultant for CBC television and chair of the planning committee for the National Arts Centre, Ottawa. His 1965 Proposal for the Musical Development of the Capital Region led to the formation of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the University of Ottawa music department. Throughout the 1970s he served as executive director of the Ontario Arts Council and in ...

Article

Nigel Simeone

( b London, June 5, 1914; d London, Jan 15, 2005). English critic, writer and concert organizer . In 1931 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Organ Music Society; he became secretary in 1935 and invited Marchal, Tournemire, Messiaen and Duruflé to perform in the society’s concerts. He was concert director of the LPO (1940–46) and from 1942 organizer of the Concerts de musique française for the Free French in London. Among the artists whom he invited to appear at these remarkable concerts were Teyte, Goodall, Pears, Britten and Tippett, and following the liberation of Paris many outstanding French musicians also performed in the series, including Poulenc, Bernac, Souzay, Neveu, Thibaud, Fournier, Gendron, Messiaen, Loriod and Dutilleux, several of whom established firm friendships with Aprahamian.

Aprahamian was deputy music critic of the Sunday Times (1948–89) and a regular contributor to Gramophone. Throughout his career he did much to foster French music in Britain; he was Messiaen’s earliest British advocate (they corresponded from ...

Article

Kornel Michałowski

(b Lublin, Dec 31, 1840; d Warsaw, Feb 15, 1916). Polish bookseller and music publisher. He served his apprenticeship in the bookshop of his uncle Stanisław Arct in Warsaw, then at Behr & Bock in Berlin. In 1862 he took over the management of Stanisław Arct’s bookshop, becoming its proprietor in 1881. In 1900 he founded his own printing house, and devoted himself almost completely to publishing, especially dictionaries, encyclopedias, school and children’s literature, and music. As a distinguished authority on music publishing he developed considerably the retailing of scores, as well as introducing a system of lending music for the students of the Warsaw Conservatory. He increased his number of publications to 100 titles yearly, mainly for teaching purposes. The publishing firm M. Arct existed until 1939 and, as the firm S. Arct, from 1946 to 1949.

Music series published by M. Arct include Etudes et exercises, Sonates et sonatines...

Article

Roland J. Vázquez

(de)

(b Portugal, 1836; d Madrid, May 21, 1886). Spanish impresario, actor and singer. He first became popular in comic roles at theTeatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid. In 1866 he formed his own company, the Bufos Madrileños, modelled on Offenbach’s Bouffes-Parisiens. It was an instant success. By 1870 he had begun a second company in Barcelona. In addition to operettas by Offenbach and Lecocq, Arderíus staged new works by Spanish composers, including F. A. Barbieri and P. J. E. Arrieta.The dance routines and brief costumes of the female chorus were indispensable to the appeal of the Bufos, and were among the features that incited critics to condemn the genre as frivolous and a hindrance to the development of serious opera in Spanish. By the beginning of 1873 the company’s popularity had ended, and Arderíus had become director at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Thereafter he championed the cause of national opera, attempting, without success, to launch a Spanish opera series in ...

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Liége, Feb 23, 1901; d Brussels, Dec 19, 1971). Belgian tenor and administrator. He was trained in Liège and made his début there as Gérald in Lakmé in 1924, moving then to Lyons and Ghent. In 1930 he became principal lyric tenor at La Monnaie, Brussels, and in his 17 years there sang more than 40 roles, taking part in several premières, including that of Lattuada’s ...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

(Walter)

(b Birmingham, Oct 19, 1913; d London, Jan 19, 1972). English administrator. He began his theatrical life in 1929 as an actor, but soon turned to stage management. After World War II he became general manager of the Old Vic and in 1951 was appointed general manager of Sadler’s Wells, and then administrative director. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

revised by Joseph E. Morgan

(b Havre, MT, Dec 14, 1941). American soprano and director. As a child she studied piano and clarinet; later she received the BA from Concordia College in Minnesota and studied singing privately with a number of teachers including lotte Lehmann in Santa Barbara. She sang Elvira (in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri) for her debut with the San Francisco Opera in 1966, and a year later she sang for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera as the Dew Fairy in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. She appeared at Santa Fe (1968) and the Caramoor Festival (1974), and was a member of the New York City Opera from 1975 to 1978. Her European career has included a very successful Salome at Strasbourg (1976), a role she repeated in Munich, Vienna, and elsewhere. She made her debut at Bayreuth as Elsa (in Wagner’s ...

Article

David F. Garcia

[Desiderio Alberto]

(b Santiago de Cuba, March 2, 1917; d San Diego, CA, Dec 2, 1986).American entertainer, bandleader, and television producer of Cuban birth. Arnaz left Santiago for the United States when his father, the mayor, was exiled upon the fall of the Machado government in 1933. Arnaz began his career as a singer in Miami and joined the internationally famous Xavier Cugat orchestra in the late 1930s. He started his own band, which recorded with Columbia in 1941 and Victor from 1946 through 1951. While Arnaz was the leader and featured singer, the band also recorded with prominent American singers, including the Andrews Sisters and Jane Harvey. Arnaz also appeared in the Broadway and film versions of Too Many Girls in 1939 and 1940, respectively. He married the film actress Lucille Ball, and the couple eventually starred in and produced their classic television show, I Love Lucy (featuring Arnaz as a bandleader), from ...

Article

Rudolf Lück

(b Charlottenburg, Berlin, April 1, 1907; d Berlin, Dec 25, 1976). German choral conductor and radio producer. He studied at the Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik in Berlin and at the university there. A choirmaster and lecturer in music at the Berlin Volkshochschule (1932–40), he also taught music at a secondary school (1932–4) and was co-founder and conductor of the Berlin Heinrich Schütz Chorale. With the resumption of postwar musical life in Berlin he was appointed head of Berlin radio's chamber music department and from 1949 was a specialist adviser on symphonic music for RIAS. He founded the Berlin Motet Choir in 1950 and was its conductor to 1960, and he was also conductor of the RIAS Chamber Choir (1955–72). From 1964 until his retirement in 1972 he was deputy head of music for RIAS, and from 1965 he was also music director at Berlin’s Freie und Technische Hochschule. Arndt gave the RIAS Chamber Choir an international reputation through numerous broadcasts and concert tours; he did much to promote contemporary music, giving many first performances including works by Bialas, Henze, Krenek, Schoenberg, Genzmer, Milhaud, Reimann and Sakać. Arndt was awarded the Grosse Verdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in ...

Article

Louis Niebur

(b Luton, 23 Jan 1962). British film, television, video game, and popular music composer and producer. Best known for his scores for James Bond films of the late 1990s and the 2000s, Arnold began his career scoring the student films of the director Danny Cannon, leading to their professional collaboration on The Young Americans (1993). For this film, Arnold co-wrote the song Play Dead with the Icelandic singer Björk. This project brought Arnold to the attention of the producer Roland Emmerich, who hired him to compose the music for Stargate (1994). He worked with Emmerich again on two more films (Independence Day (1996) and Godzilla (1998)), composing large, brass-heavy orchestral scores that matched the over-the-top quality of these blockbusters. During the 2000s, Arnold also developed a professional relationship with the director John Singleton, scoring four of his films, beginning with ...

Article

Leanne Langley

(bap. London, Dec 28, 1774; d Walton upon Thames, Aug 16, 1852). English librettist and impresario, son of Samuel Arnold. Though trained as an artist, from the mid-1790s he worked with his father at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket, writing afterpieces set by the elder Arnold. He himself wrote the words and music for one such work there, Foul Deeds Will Rise (18 July 1804). In 1809, when Drury Lane burnt down and its company moved to the Lyceum in Wellington Street off the Strand, Arnold then became associated with that theatre and began to stage his own plays with music. The Drury Lane company left in 1812 and Arnold retained the Lyceum, naming it the English Opera House during summer seasons. In 1815 he obtained the lease and had the theatre almost completely rebuilt; it was formally opened as the English Opera House on ...

Article

Blake Howe

(b New York, April 8, 1856; d New York, Feb 4, 1919). American theater manager, conductor, and composer. After studying harmony and composition with Emile Durand at the Paris Conservatoire (1874–7), Aronson returned to New York as a young manager and conductor at the Metropolitan Hall. He encountered his greatest success as founder of the Casino Theatre in Manhattan, a building celebrated for its “Moorish” architecture and its roof garden (the first of its kind). Opening on 21 October 1882 with a performance of The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief, the Casino quickly became the major venue for comic opera performances in New York, featuring sumptuously designed performances of the works of J. Strauss, Sullivan, Offenbach, and Millöcker, among others. Though he considered the production inferior to his other work, Aronson’s most successful run at the Casino was Jakobowski’s Erminie (1256 performances). Throughout his career, Aronson maintained strong European connections, managing theater houses abroad and contracting American tours of major European musicians, including Leoncavallo....